This chocolate covered cherry cake recipe from Laurel Morley is so good, I almost don’t want to share it. It had a prime spot in today’s shoot from Juli Vaughn, and we’ve been drooling over it ever since. Make sure you check out Laurel’s site for more delicious recipes!
Although February is a wonderful time for romance, it’s not always the best time of year for fresh, juicy summer fruits like cherries and raspberries. I used frozen fruit this time because it’s often the best out-of-season option, but if you miraculously happen to find some lovely fresh berries in your local market, I say go for it! Just substitute an equal amount of fresh fruit (be sure to pit the cherries, of course… pits aren’t romantic!).
Ingredients for the cake:
-3 1/2 sticks room temperature, unsalted butter, plus one extra tablespoon for buttering the pans
-5 cups flour, plus two extra tablespoons for flouring the pans
-6 tsp (1/8 cup) baking powder
-1 1/4 teaspoon salt
-8 egg whites
-4 cups sugar
-2 cups pureed raspberries (thawed completely if using frozen)
-1 1/2 cups pureed dark sweet cherries (thawed)
-3/4 cup milk
-2 cups dark sweet cherries, halved
For the ganache:
-8 oz dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt Dark 70%, this is two bars plus a little extra)
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt one tablespoon of butter and, using a pastry brush, cover the inside of one 12-cup bundt pan and one 6-cup bundt pan. Sprinkle the inside of each pan with a tablespoon of flour, tap and rotate pan until inside is evenly, lightly floured. Combine remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl, set aside.
Place egg whites in bowl of a stand mixer (or in mixing bowl to beat by hand), beat on high until they reach the stiff peak stage. Transfer beaten egg whites to another bowl and wipe out bowl of stand mixer. Cream butter and sugar together in stand mixer (or by hand) on medium until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Reduce speed to low and add fruit purees slowly to avoid splattering. Add milk, mix until smooth. With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture just until thoroughly combined (do not over-beat). Fold in egg white mixture just until combined.
Divide batter between the two pans. Sprinkle halved cherries over the batter, poking them gently down into each of the cakes and smoothing the tops of the batter afterward. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes for the small pan, 75 minutes for the large pan, or until a knife inserted at the center of each cake can be removed cleanly. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes, then carefully invert onto plates and remove from pans.
Prepare ganache by breaking up chocolate and placing in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream just to a boil, then pour over chocolate and let sit for five minutes, undisturbed. Sprinkle salt over ganache, whisk to emulsify all ingredients. The ganache will at first look streaky, then more homogenous, and will eventually thicken into a creamy chocolate glaze that can be poured or spread over a cake. Be sure to taste some off a spoon first. You know, for science.
Once cakes have cooled completely, stack the small one on top of the larger one. Drizzle ganache slowly over cake. Decorating with candied, edible flowers (Gardenista has a great tutorial for sugared violas exactly like the ones I used) or fresh fruit is optional, but looks gorgeous. Here’s to romance!